Suspected US Missile Strike Kills 7 in Pakistan
By VOA News
25 March 2009
Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed at least seven people, including foreigners, in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
Officials say Wednesday's strike damaged two vehicles near the town of Makeen in South Waziristan. They have not released the nationalities of the foreigners.
The area is known as a stronghold for Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud who is accused of orchestrating the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Officials have not said whether Mehsud was in any of the vehicles.
An estimated 30 missile strikes from unmanned aircraft (drones) have been carried out on suspected al-Qaida and Taliban targets in Pakistan's border region in recent months. U.S. officials have repeatedly said eliminating militant bases in Pakistan's tribal regions is key to winning the war on terror and stabilizing Afghanistan.
The government of Pakistan routinely condemns the attacks as counterproductive and a violation of its territorial sovereignty. U.S. military officials never confirm the strikes, which are usually carried out by armed forces and Central Intelligence Agency employees from Afghanistan.
Pakistan is under intense international pressure to fight a growing Islamist insurgency and to rid itself of the Taliban and other militants believed to be based in the country's tribal regions.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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